The recent chill has dominated the weather story here but quietly we’ve entered dangerously dry conditions that will extend into the weekend. Burn bans could expand
EARLY SEASON ARCTIC AIR
The chill is impressive and the air we endured over the past three days had its origins from the arctic. Tracking the air parcels, the map below shows the air days ago originates near the Arctic Circle. The past three afternoons have been well below the normal high of 64-degrees and more typical for early December. Cloudy skies and gusty winds are a large part of the reason we have not officially gone below freezing officially in Indianapolis during this spell, but that changes tonight. Winds will ease and under clear skies, very cold conditions are expected. A freeze warning is once again in effect with a very high likelihood that outlying locations will reach hard freeze, 28° or colder conditions early Thursday morning.
The deep trough or dig in the jet stream is behind this early season arctic blast. The cold extends deep into the southern U.S. where tonight frost advisories blanket northern Florida.
STRONG WARMING AHEAD
These cold temperatures are about to be behind us as the jet stream flattens quickly entering the weekend, flooding the once chilly eastern U.S. with mild, oceanic air. That abrupt change will bring on a surge in temperatures well into the 70s over the weekend, along with gusty winds and mostly sunny skies. Weekend temperatures are to run nearly 15-degees above normal and even bring some locations up near 80-degees.
SUNNY AND DRY
October sunshine was in short supply over the past week. Cloudy skies recently took a toll on our sunshine surplus, that one point was well over 80%. To-date,. 58% possible sunshine for the month is near the normal for October and we are to increase that soon. Upcoming sunny stretch expected through this weekend.
We welcome the sunshine but caution! We have gone terribly dry! It is now the driest spell on record dating back to September 25th. Less than .10″ of rain has fallen for Indianapolis, making this the driest since weather records began over 150 years ago. We should have had nearly 2.50″ or precipitation but have received a mere .09″. All of which fell in October, which is also among the driest on record through the 19th. This is the driest October since 2005, ranking 5th on record.
The upcoming weekend brings elevated fire danger with the tinder dry conditions, gusty winds and low relative humidity. Red Flag warnings may likely come entering the weekend and we urge caution or recommend no burning. Currently nearly two-dozen counties are under a burn ban, we will monitor if more are hoisted before the weekend.